CWU News

Students and Staff Help Food Bank After Devastating Fire

Across campus students and staff are coming together to support the FISH food bank after its Ellensburg building was destroyed by fire the day after Thanksgiving. The Nutrition Science Club, the Hype Street Team, 88.1 The ‘Burg, and the Equity and Services Council are just a few of the groups that are helping collect food and toiletry items to restock the food bank.

Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals also is helping by loaning sleeping bags and sleeping pads to replace the ones lost in the fire. The bedrolls were part of a brand new cold weather shelter being coordinated by FISH and the Kittitas Valley Ministerial Association. Thanks to OPR’s donation, the cold weather shelter opened without interruption as temperatures in Kittitas County plummeted this week.

The First Christian Church is the shelter for Monday and Tuesday, the United Methodist Church is the shelter for Wednesday and Friday, and the First Lutheran Church is the shelter for Thursday. To donate sleeping bags or sleeping pads, or to volunteer as a shelter supervisor, contact Pastor Don Green, chair of the Kittitas Valley Ministerial Association, at 509-925-2644.

The food bank is operating at two temporary locations in the community: Mercer Creek Church is the donation drop off and distribution site, and First Lutheran Church is where volunteers are serving hot lunch three days this week.

Monetary donations can be made to FISH at The website also is where you can find up-to-date information on the food bank’s needs, temporary location, and collection and distribution hours.

For CWU employees wanting to help, consider donating to the Washington State Combined Fund Drive. The Combined Fund Drive is the fourth largest giving program in the nation, and those who participate can specify which charity to support. In Kittitas County, the FISH food bank is one of 32 member charities in the Combined Fund Drive. The local organizations offer child and family services, human services, senior care, scholarships, housing, animal rescue and sanctuary, health and medical research, and food assistance.

Making a donation is easy. Simply go to, choose from the list of participating organizations, and pledge your 2014 contribution. If you prefer, fill out a contribution form and take it to Human Resources in Bouillon Hall. Customize your donation by choosing monthly, recurring or limited-time contributions, write a personal check, or authorize payroll deductions. You decide what works best for you.

Media contact: Barb Arnott, CWU Public Affairs, 509-963-2841,

December 2, 2014